Essential to all life and to the development of humanity, water is multi-faceted and yet singular. Symbolically, it is one of the four natural elements that make up the universe, alongside air, fire and earth. It lies at the heart of myths and religions, functioning as both sign and symbol, and constantly changing form. Water is certainly a natural resource, but for a large part of the population, it is also the rarest commodity.
Through the “Contemporary Talents” competition he established in 2011, François Schneider provides support to artists by acquiring their works and presenting them at the Foundation’s Contemporary Art Centre via an exhibition and the publication of a catalogue.
Each year, over 1,000 artists from around a hundred different countries submit applications. After around forty finalists have been selected by four Expert Committees, the International Grand Jury, chaired by Jean-Noël Jeanneney, choses a maximum of seven prize-winners.
The annual budget amounts to 300,000 euros. Each prize-winner receives 20,000 euros for the acquisition of their work. A sum of 160,000 euros is also set aside for the creation of works submitted in project form, as support for their production.
The “Contemporary Talents” competition leads to a collective exhibition at the Foundation’s Contemporary Art Centre and a bilingual publication presenting the work of the prize-winners.
To date, 47 artists have been selected.